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Advanced Composition 

A Lesson in Contrasts: Writing Comparison Contrast

February 19 and 20, 2003

Use comparison-contrast development to compare (show likeness) or contrast (show difference). Each has a specific purpose: comparison shows how things we consider different are actually alike in some ways; contrast shows how things we consider alike are actually different in some ways.

Two Kinds of Development:

Plan A

Give all your examples for subject A, point by point; then all of subject B, with the same points in parallel.

Plan B

Give an example for Subject A and then a parallel example for Subject B; repeat three times for a “tennis game” effect.


Writing Comparison Contrast Well

Be sure to have a purpose for your paragraph. Why are you comparing or contrasting? You may be trying to explain, to entertain, or to persuade someone of your opinion.

What is your purpose for comparing or contrasting something? You may prefer one item to another. You may say what happened in one case will happen in another. You may say both items are equally acceptable.

Written Work (in class):

Compare a city or town you have lived in with the city you live in now.

Be sure to compare the two places in at least three different ways. You may show why you prefer one town to the other.

Or, you may show why each town is equally acceptable. Write in one 150 word paragraph.

Homework: Revise your paragraph carefully. Make sure your purpose (through a well-written topic sentence) is clear. Choose either Plan A or Plan B development.

Teacher Writing sample for this topic.

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